The Broncos drew first blood with an opening field goal but the Packers retaliated with a one-two-three combination and a devastating counterpunch. When the sun had set on a sun-splashed autumn afternoon at Lambeau Field, the Packers had extended their winning streak to 10 and improved to 4-0 on the season with a 49-23 victory.
Aaron Rodgers was brilliant, with career highs of 408 yards and four touchdown passes, plus added two touchdowns on the ground.
The Packers took a 7-0 lead with Rodgers' 50-yard touchdown pass to Jordy Nelson, then made it 14-3 three plays later when Charles Woodson picked off Kyle Orton and returned it 30 yards for a touchdown. It was a play of milestones for Woodson, with his 50th career interception, 11th career pick-six, 10th pick-six with the Packers and 11th defensive touchdown with the Packers. With his 11 interception returns for touchdowns, he moved within one of Rod Woodson's NFL record. He also extended his NFL record with a pick-six in six consecutive seasons.
If the Broncos were knocked woozy, they were sent to the canvas a moment later by coach Mike McCarthy, who dialed up an onside kick that Nelson recovered. Given the short field, the Packers quickly extended their lead to 21-3, with Rodgers punctuating the drive with an 11-yard touchdown run as the Broncos vacated the middle of the field.
Denver, however, scraped itself off the mat by victimizing Morgan Burnett for two long completions to make it a game. The first came on an exquisitely executed flea-flicker to All-Pro Brandon Lloyd for 44 yards that set up a short touchdown to Eric Decker. The second came on a 33-yard touchdown pass to Decker, who was matched up one-on-one against Burnett.
The Packers, however, simply had too much firepower. Running a two-minute drill to end the half, Rodgers drove them 80 yards in 10 plays, capped by a 17-yard touchdown to an uncovered Greg Jennings that made it 28-17 with 24 seconds to go. That ran Rodgers' halftime numbers to 16-of-21 for 227 yards with two touchdown passes and the touchdown run.
The Packers got the ball to start the third quarter and decked the Broncos again. Rodgers converted third-and-13 with a 16-yard completion to James Jones, and pass interference gave the Packers another third-down conversion. On second-and-goal from the 8, Rodgers again spotted a void in the defense. He was hit by two defenders and reached the ball over the goal line for the touchdown and a 35-17 lead.
Rodgers added a third touchdown pass late in the third quarter, a 16-yard dart to Jones that was set up by a 61-yard catch-and-run by Randall Cobb, who spun out of two tackles. That made it 42-17 and gave the Packers a four-game team scoring record of 141 points – with 16 minutes to go in the game.
Driver, who was knocked out of the game on Rodgers' first touchdown run, caught an 8-yard touchdown pass midway through the fourth quarter that extended the lead to 49-17.
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.